Hebatullah Nazy Selim
This article responds to Richard Gauvain’s recently introduced concept of “Oppositionality” as it aims to operationalize the concept in Al Da’awa Al Salafiyya (DS) and Al Nor Party (NP) case from the perspective of a western trained conservative Muslim female ethnographer in the period between 2013 and 2019. This article endorses Gauvain’s observation about the lack of positionality on the part of ethnographers of Salafism, meanwhile it disagrees with his assumption that Salafi modes of oppositionality are quite identical in practice and that the forces of oppositionality must lead to the expulsion of Western-trained ethnographers from Salafi circles. The main argument in this article is that oppositionality is always possible, but its reasons and levels differ according to: the type of the movement and its application of Shari’a, the identity of the ethnographer, and the political context. In view of the identity of the researcher and the context, “Al Masaleh wal Mafased” (cost-benefit calculations) play a key role in the case of DS/NP.
Published Date: 2020-10-07; Received Date: 2020-09-12